More than 850 runners from across Australia and overseas will test their physical limits at the 2nd annual Margaret River Ultra Marathon this Saturday May 4. A gruelling 80km trail run with infinite scenery will test trail runners from Hamelin Bay to Wilyabrup on the Cape to Cape coastline of south-west Western Australia.
Karri tree forests, cliff top trails with ocean views, white sandy beaches, coastal villages from a Tim Winton novel, and rolling hinterland will absorb runners competing in solo and team events. Teams of 2-5 runners can divide the distance into a relay with the course split into five legs of 10km and 20km.
The first Margaret River Ultra was a roaring success last year with the event designed for all levels—from elites to trail running newbies. And the kids get a go too. The Cheeky Monkey Brewery will play host to a fun two kilometre Kids Run on Sunday morning.
“Parents can bring their kids down and let them go wild!” said Sam Maffet, General Manager of Rapid Ascent. Presentations for the grown-ups will follow the kids run on Sunday morning.
Anna Weatherill from Perth was told she would never walk again after being hit by a truck in 2009. On Saturday she’ll tackle the Ultra in a team of five, “I am the driving force of the team doing the 1st uphill leg. I may also do the last leg if our 5th team member doesn’t make it. I refused to listen to the experts so this is a big thrill for me to say the least.”
Veronique Bourbeau from Singapore said the ultra will be a cake walk after she ran recently finished a 250KM race in Japan in 37 hours, “What’s easier? 250km for sure (laughs), no way, I’m just kidding!
And Tristan Yuswak and his mates from Perth are hoping to raise money to build awareness for mental health issues prevalent in the mining industry. “I’m running in a team with a bunch of UON employees who to raise awareness and funds for depression in the mining workforce, especially the FIFO lifestyle.”
Part of the allure for the Margaret River Ultra is providing an opportunity for runners to combine their love of running with a visit to one of Australia’s most spectacular regions. The course is accessible for spectators and a stone’s throw from world class wineries, cafes and surf beaches. It all kicks off Friday night with a race briefing at the Cheeky Monkey brewery live-streamed on the Rapid Ultra Facebook page from 6.30PM onward.
It’s shaping up to be a big event that’s for sure. It’s a ‘full service’ event with all the customer service you’d expect from an industry leader like Rapid Ascent, including: transport, checkpoints with food and drinks, and a marked and marshalled course. Stop off points for spectators and support crews will allow non-runners to take in the atmosphere as well.
Rapid Ascent also runs the Surf Coast Century ultra marathon in Victoria and the Augusta Adventure Fest in Western Australia, in addition to a number of other running series and events across Australia.
Local media and south-west locals in Western Australia are invited to come down for a look and stop in at the bustling Cheeky Monkey Brewery to mix it up with event staff and competitors.
For more information on the Margaret River Ultra Marathon head to www.MRUltramarathon.com.au.
When: Saturday 4th May 2019 and Sunday 5th May 2019
Where: Margaret River, South-West Western Australia
What: An 80 kilometre ultra marathon with two options: Solo 80km or relay team of 2-5 runners doing one (or more) legs each. Leg breakdown:
Leg 1: 10.5km Hamelin Bay to Boranup Campsite
Leg 2: 18km Boranup Campsite to Contos Campground. Total: 28.5km
Leg 3: 19.5km Contos Campground to White Elephant Café, Total: 48km
Leg 4: 20km White Elephant Café to Gracetown. Total: 68km
Leg 5: 12km Gracetown to Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery. Total: 80km
Friday 4th May
- 4:00pm – 8:00pm Competitor registration in the event centre at the Cheeky Monkey
- 5:00pm – 6:30pm Live music in the event centre
- 6:30pm Competitor briefing for all runners in the event centre at the Cheeky Monkey
Saturday 4th May
- 5:30am Shuttle bus pick up from Cheeky Monkey to the start line at Hamelin Bay
- 6:30am – 7:00am Late registration at Hamelin bay
- 7:00am – RACE START, Hamelin Bay
- 12:30pm – 7:00pm Sponsors expo official open in the event centre at the Cheeky Monkey
- 1:15pm – Winning 80km relay team expected to finish
- 2:30pm – Winning solo 80km runners expected to finish
- 1:00am – Course closes
Sunday 6th May
- 9:00am – 9:30am Competitor registration for the 2km kids’ run in the event centre at the Cheeky Monkey
- 9:30am Kids’ Run START – around the winery grounds at the Cheeky Monkey
- 10:00am – Event presentations in the event centre at the Cheeky Monkey
ADDITIONAL LOCATIONS TO SEE RUNNERS
There are a number of additional locations the media and spectators can see runners outside of the Checkpoints:
- 23km pt – 100m in from the intersection of Boranup Drive and Caves Rd
- 42km pt – at Redgate Beach car park
- 46km pt – at the southern end of Gas Bay Rd in Gnarabup
- 50km pt – at Surfers Point and the Margaret River mouth
- 65km pt – at the southern end of the Left Handers car park past Gracetown
Available on the day at race registration (online entries are now closed).